Authorities responded to a domestic violence situation that turned into a raging fire at the Miles Landing apartment complex on Banbury Circle in Warrensville Heights on Monday.
According to police, the incident began between a boyfriend and a girlfriend around 2 p.m. The girlfriend was able to get away safely, but the boyfriend barricaded himself in the building.
“It could have been quite tragic, but she was able to get away and alert us to what was going on,” said Warrensville Heights Mayor Brad Sellers.
Police attempted to have him come out peacefully, but he refused. The Valley Enforcement Group's SWAT team was then called to the scene.
When they attempted to forcibly remove him from the home, the suspect set the apartment building on fire.
The fire did spread to other parts of the U-shaped building, causing residents to flee.
“It’s just sad to sit here and see your house going in flames,” Tamika Banks told WKYC Channel 3's Carly Flynn Morgan.
She has two children. They are just one of the families who lost everything at Miles Landing. The building had approximately 20 units, four of which were vacant.
“It’s material things. That’s why I had to stop crying about it. It’s material things. They can get replaced,” Banks said.
The Red Cross is assisting those that lost their home and resources are available at the Civic and Senior Center:
Displaced residents can come to the Civic & Senior Center (4567 Green Road) for food, water, & support in collaboration with the Red Cross.— City of Warrensville (@Warrensville_OH) April 10, 2017
Bedford Heights,Garfield Heights and North Randall Fire Departments all assisted Warrensville in extinguishing the fire. Bedford Heights Fire was one of the first outlets to report the fire and standoff.
Assisting Warrensville Hts with a possible fire and SWAT situation. pic.twitter.com/nNwumTiktC— Bedford Heights Fire (@BedfordHtsFD) April 10, 2017
The suspect is in custody at the Warrensville Heights City Jail. Authorities haven’t released his identity.
Carly Flynn Morgan filed this report from the scene on Facebook Live:
You can read Carly's tweets from Warrensville Heights below: